Southeast Asia's demand for protein in the form of animal meat is increasing by more than 4% every year. This has important consequences for regional food security and household incomes and wellbeing. Laos and Cambodia are ideally placed in the region to meet the demand. However, current livestock production and health practices pose a constraint and are preventing this opportunity from being realised. In addition, farmers in both countries contend with high costs of production, variable returns and changing government policy, which is similar to the situation experienced by Australian farmers.
Associate Professor Russell Bush talks to Dr Natali Pearson about his work towards improving livestock health and food security in Laos and Cambodia, and describes how better livestock management can have a transformative impact on livelihoods.
Associate Professor Russell Bush is an expert in applied Livestock Production within the School of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney, leading research and teaching activities in Southeast Asia and Australia. He is also a cattle and sheep producer from southern New South Wales with over 45 years’ experience which provides a unique perspective when interacting with smallholder farmers in Laos and Cambodia where three multi-year ACIAR funded livestock research for development projects have recently concluded. A/Prof Bush recognises the value of participatory training involving multi-disciplinary teams to ensure key messages are conveyed to stakeholders, including farmers (industry), support personnel, government, and university staff/students. He has also worked on previous livestock projects in Indonesia, China, and Pakistan.
If you'd like to know more about Associate Professor Bush's work, head to the Mekong Livestock blog: mekonglivestock.wordpress.com/publications/.
For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website here.